We often get asked about the stories that have connected us to different artists. So with this in mind, we're making an effort to start sharing more of the background, behind the art, on how the plan all comes together. And sometimes, it’s with no plan at all...
Shortly after 1:00PM on August 21, 2017, hundreds of people walked outside of the NY Now show to get a glimpse of the pending eclipse. We had no idea that this random sidewalk stop was where we would discover a new piece for a future Red & Rugged gift box.
We were not one of the lucky ones to have found eclipse glasses, and despite reports to the contrary, none of the 7-Eleven stores we popped into that weekend had any in stock. We were fortunate to stand beside a friendly guy, whose name we didn't get, but I do remember his tie-dye shirt! He was happy to share his glasses and talk shop as the clock ticked forward and the eclipse appeared between the clouds. Standing on the other side of this nice gentleman was a woman in the same situation as us. She also had no glasses and was trying to glance up without causing the permanent eye damage all the media had warned against. We began passing the glasses between the four of us, grateful to be outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.
During the course of our brief gathering, the woman handed us a sample of a multi-colored woolen coffee sleeve. It was interesting and colorful, however, it was August, so hot coffee and wool accessories weren’t top of mind yet. We had more immediate needs. I tucked it in my bag, thanked our sidewalk partners, and we went our separate ways.
Now, months later, we've hunted down the woolen sleeve, made by Faribault Woolen Mill Co., it turns out. We've been testing it, and playing with different colors as we plan our next gift box. Had it not been for this random historic moment, and a chance meeting in the middle of a west Manhattan sidewalk, we likely never would have discovered this artisan accessory.
This experience taught us that new ideas and creative energy can come from unexpected places. You just have to be open and present to win.